The Thrill of It

Hiking trail at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, Arizona.

Are you a thrill-seeker? Are you always challenging yourself to try something new? Do you love the adrenaline rush and the sense of accomplishment after you’ve done something your friends or family say you were crazy to try?

Well you’re not crazy – and, according to some studies, you’re possibly managing life better than your more sedate friends. Tackling your fear of these thrilling sports can provide you with coping mechanisms that you can use in other parts of your life. Another benefit is the boost to your self-confidence. You did it! Hooray for you! Who doesn’t feel good about themselves after accomplishing these feats?

Cabins at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground in Groveland, CA

If you’re ready to get your thrill on, consider these sports:

  1. Whitewater Rafting: Book a stay at one of the cool yurts at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground in Groveland and ride the whitewaters of the Tuolumne River, which is considered one of the best rivers for such an adventure. Plenty of outfitters are waiting to help you tackle the Class III rapids of the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, Washington. Visit www.leavenworth.org to find the one that fits your idea of thrills. Plan to stay with us at Leavenworth Tiny House Village in your own tiny house where you can relax after a thrilling day on the water!
Yurt at Yosemite Lakes RV Campground in Groveland, CA
  • Rock Climbing: If you’re heading to Maine, check out rock climbing at Maine’s Acadia National Park which offers all kinds of climbing options through the Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School. Solo efforts can range from four to seven-hour jaunts, plus there are family climbs and evening climbs. Make a reservation at our nearby locations, Narrows Too (cabin and cottage options) or Mt. Desert Narrows (cabin accommodations) to be where the climbing action is. 
Cabins at Narrows Too in Trenton, ME
  • Zip-lining: Want to soar across the treetops of the amazing Adirondack forest? Book a comfy cabin at Lake George Escape and then find the zip-line adventure for you. There are plenty here including Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course or the Adirondack Adventure Center. Crazy views of Wisconsin’s Door County Peninsula as you fly over towering pine trees are what’s in store when you zip-line in this Wisconsin wonderland. Book a cabin at Tranquil Timbers and plan your adventure. Check out Door County Adventure Center or Lakeshore Adventures for their zip-lining courses.
Inside a yurt at Tranquil Timbers in Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Snorkeling: No better place to dive deep than the Florida Keys. Reserve a colorful cottage at Fiesta Key or a super cool tiny home at Sunshine Key and explore the underwater kingdom of The Keys. The warm shallow waters off the Dry Tortugas are said to be best for snorkelers of all ages while John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first undersea park in the US, is great for viewing the various coral species, plus turtles, parrot fish and butterfly fish.
Colorful cottages at Fiesta Key in Long Key, FL
  • Ultimate Hiking: While hiking is a great activity for both body and spirit, the thrill on these hikes is the view. These are ultimate when it comes to the unparalleled beauty of nature (not to mention majorly Instagram-worthy photo ops).

Fay Canyon, Arizona: An easy 2.4-mile trail in the scenic Fay Canyon of Sedona’s Red Rock State Park. Rent a tiny home at Verde Valley and hike the park everyday for a different point of view.

Joshua Tree National Park, California: All levels of hiking trails are available here and most come with views of the Park’s namesake, the Joshua Tree. Find Heart Rock within the Park and you’re guaranteed an insta-shot you will love! A cottage accommodation at Palm Springs is the perfect companion to this hiking trek.

Atticus the Tiny House at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village in Welches, OR

Mirror Lake Loop Trail, Oregon: The Mt. Hood area of Oregon is full of opportunities for great hikes and great pics. One of the most popular, and amazing, is the view of Mt. Hood from the Mirror Lake Trail, a 3.7-mile loop. A tiny house at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village is perfect for the after-trail relax.

New Year, New Trails

Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park, 30 minutes from Palm Springs in CA.

Do you plan to blaze a new trail in 2020? You might want to consider trekking these trails around the country.

Joshua Tree National Park (CA) – Check out the trees the park is named for while hiking the more than 65 moderate trails in this rugged terrain.  The Joshua Tree is characterized by its twisty, bristly limbs and these distinctive trees are just part of the scenery to be seen here. The Arch Rock Trail hike brings you to the namesake of the trail, Arch Rock, which runs 30 feet wide. Get up close and personal (well, maybe not too close or too personal) with the Park’s Cholla Cactus on the relatively easy Cholla Cactus Garden trail.

Reserve a stay in a cottage at Palm Springs in Palm Desert to hike Joshua Tree National Park.

Lake Kissimmee State Park (FL) – Live oak hammocks provide the perfect cover as you explore the two loop trails in this Florida hiking destination. The Buster Island Trail takes roughly 3 ½ hours to walk this 6.9-mile loop on an island that is surrounded by three lakes. The North Loop Trail is another option that includes Gobbler Ridge, a spur trail that leads to the edge of Lake Kissimmee.

Rest your head in a colorful cottage at Tropical Palms in Kissimmee to hike Lake Kissimmee State Park.

Prospect Mountain (NY) – Imagine 100 miles views of the Adirondacks! This somewhat difficult hike (not suggested for youngsters) is one of the

more popular hikes in the region thanks to the rewarding scenery. The goal is the summit at 2,030 feet, where hikers can experience those magnificent views but also see the remains of the Prospect Mountain Cable Incline Railway. The trailhead begins in the town of Lake George.

Cozy up in a cabin at Lake George Escape to tackle Prospect Mountain.

Fall Hollow Falls (TN) – The waterfalls are the draw on this trail, not to mention the creeks and wooden bridges. Cross over the two bridges and you’ll find yourself at the observation deck for the falls. The trail to the observation deck is less than a quarter mile. The trailhead for this hike is just off the historic Natchez Trace Parkway.

Natchez Trace
Choose your favorite themed cabin at Natchez Trace to trek Fall Hollow Falls.

Palm Springs: A Modern Playground

Palm Springs RV Resort
Palm Springs RV Resort

Palm Springs became a big draw to movie stars in the early 1930s not only because of its proximity to Los Angeles but in just a two-hour drive you’re transported in the serenity of the desert, away from the hustle and bustle of the Hollywood lifestyle. Palm Springs has always offered plenty of sunshine, fresh air, hiking trails, and natural hot springs. Today, Palm Springs continues to draw stars and regular folks alike thanks to its fabulous mix of desert vistas, vibrant arts and culture scene, and plenty of shopping and culinary opportunities.

The Palm Springs Art Museum includes works by Marc Chagall, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, and even features two outdoor sculpture gardens. It also has major collections of Native American and Western art, photography, and glass, including works by Dale Chilhuly. A special exhibit that runs through August 2019 is Lines in the Sand which explores the history of the desert through our relationship to the land, environment, and community. Admission to the museum is free. For hours and additional information visit psmuseum.org.

For more art, don’t miss the Desert Arts Festival, scheduled for December 8 and 9, 2018, which will feature artwork across all mediums including acrylic, oils, watercolors, clay, stone, wood, etchings, and sculpture.

Joshua Tree National Park

Of course, you can’t come to the desert and not experience the desert, so some suggestions include a Jeep tour to Joshua Tree National Park, Indian Canyons and the San Andreas Fault. The area has several different companies that offer various tours, so be sure to visit visitgreaterpalmsprings.com to see what your options are. The Living Desert Wilderness Loop Trail is also a great option for hiking the desert – this can be done through admission to The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, another must-see when in Palm Springs!

For a double whammy of total tranquility and delicious food, visit The Starlite in the heart of downtown Joshua Tree, where you can take a yoga class at the Instant Karma yoga studio and enjoy an authentic slice of NY style pizza at Pie for the People, right in the middle of the desert!

If shopping is your game, there’s plenty of action in the Palm Springs area, which boasts many distinct shopping districts. There’s the Desert Hills Premium Outlets mall in Cabazon and downtown Palm Springs with its boutiques and antiques. The mod Uptown Design District features 50 unique boutiques, galleries, and shops along several blocks. And if you visit the Corridor, which has shops, cafes, and galleries, don’t miss the Just Fabulous bookstore, where plenty of famous authors like Anne Rice and Lily Tomlin have held books signings. You never know who might be looking for that perfect vacation read!

Speaking of stars, each month the Astronomical Society of the Desert conducts sky tours and observations of the night sky through telescopes and binoculars at the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto National Monument. These Star Parties are free events, but optional donations help support the group’s mission to protect the Coachella Valley desert. For more information or to make a reservation for the next Star Party at the Monument, visit desertmountains.org.

The colorful cottages at  Palm Springs RV Resort are the perfect place to stay while you play in and around Palm Springs! The campground is set among 805 date palm trees in the beautiful Coachella Valley with plenty of amenities and activities, and the adorable cottages are the icing on the cake here!

Make your Petite Retreats reservations today!